Endcount is a unique collaborating digital artist duo consisting of UK-born engineer Joe Bramwell-Smith, and French painter Aurelie (Lily) Perthuis. The artists have been living in Australia now for over ten years where they met whilst working at a major news corporation, both captivated with developing news stories into innovative multimedia interactive content.
In 2010 Bramwell-Smith and Perthuis started cooperating on an art project documenting threatened species and data, creating artworks using the numbers found on IUCN Redlist and other sources. Their collective name Endcount refers to the current total population of a species that is close to extinction: “A number tending towards zero. Humans have had a dramatic impact to planet Earth. Our population has grown from 2 billion in 1927 to 7 billion today. Our rapidly growing demand for food, shelter, material goods and individual wealth comes at a huge cost to the environment and the creatures that share our planet with us. We have impacted some species so much that they now number fewer than 35 individuals left in the wild. Over 4000 species are classed as critically endangered and almost 6000 species are endangered.”
Bramwell-Smith and Perthuis aim to bring attention to the human impact on the cohabitants of our planet by putting the message in a context that raises awareness and provokes conversation. Their first project was focused on key species threatened with extinction across the globe, wanting to create beautiful and thought provoking art that changes the way people think about these problems. At the same time the artists want to raise the profile of charities working to save these species and to assist with fundraising for them.
FIRST ENDCOUNT SERIES
Endcount’s first initiative was a series of artworks that aim to highlight the declining numbers of certain endangered species through a mixture of fine art and data visualisation. Each piece is a mix of code, print, canvas and paint that captures the extreme fragility of these creatures. Each artwork is a representation of the total number of remaining members of a given species ranging from a few hundred to a number of thousand.
Asked about their working method: “We started by building an app that we can use to create the base of the artwork. The app allows us to dynamically generate the current number of creatures in the wild. We then start by sketching the species to be reproduced in vector. Once the digital version is generated and then finished in Illustrator it is sent to the printer to come back as a paint-ready physical canvas which is then painted over to provide depth. The process combines research, fine art, code, digital art, printing and painting to create a totally unique representation of the species at risk.”
SECOND ENDCOUNT SERIES
In series 2, Endcount has focused their attention on a problem a little closer to home – Endangered birds of Australia.
“In Australia despite a huge focus on ecology and protection of our environment we still face similar challenges to the rest of the world. The protection and sustainability of the creatures we share our country with is an ongoing challenge that requires constant attention. Threats including climate change and habitat destruction affect creatures here in our homeland too. Our goal is to assist where possible with the work being done to protect endangered Australian birds and their habitats and bring attention in a positive way to the fate of these incredible creatures.”
Endcount Series 2 – Piermarq Gallery, Paddington – 20 October to 5 November 2016.
Endcount Series 1 – Piermarq gallery, Pyrmont – 27 March to 2 May 2014.
Would you like to view more works by Endcount? Feel free to give us a call on (02) 9660 7799 or email us on [email protected]